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Thinking About Racing Again? Here’s How to Approach the Starting Line for the First Time in a Year

Consider why you race—those reasons play a big role in deciding when to lace up again.

If you’re feeling a little rusty after a year or more without racing, the first thing to know is that your competition drought is, unfortunately, the norm. Although it may feel like races have been popping up most weekends since fall, most of those have been limited to small elite fields. The rest of the running world has been watching and biding its time until the racing door swings back open.

The second thing to know is that there are many criteria for returning to racing—like reaching a certain level of fitness, getting vaccinated, or simply craving competition—and all of them are valid. Deciding when to approach your next starting line, and how to frame that first race back, is a matter of preference that looks different for us all.

Depending on the type (or types) of runner you identify with, here are some ways to think about your comeback.

If You Race to Stay Motivated

As with a deadline at work, some runners need a race on the calendar to focus and structure their training. Susan Griffen, who splits time between Frankfort, Michigan, and Los Angeles, falls into that category. Whether in-person or virtual, her commitments hold her accountable and add a sense of purpose to her miles (as do the causes she supports through her racing).

Following a string of virtual races, Griffen plans to line up in October for the London Marathon, which will be her sixth and final World Marathon Majors race. In the meantime, once she is fully vaccinated, she hopes to race locally as part of her build-up. The uncertain future of mass events doesn’t shake Griffen’s approach.

“As far as my training, I will pretend [London’s] happening,” she says. “It’ll keep me sane and fit.”

Comeback Tips: If you’ve been running virtual races, you shouldn’t feel as out of your element in a real race as you might otherwise (although being in a crowd may still feel unsettling). You can, however, expect to get a little more out of yourself from the atmosphere and competition.

For those holding out for an in-person event, it looks like you’ll be back in business late summer or early fall. If you’re eager to start training with a goal in mind, it may be time to register for (or plan on) a race, with the least risky option being small local road races in the fall.

If You Race to Capitalize on a Good Opportunity

Dawn Grunnagle, a three-time Olympic Trials qualifier and youth coach in Dallas, says that “opportunity to race is number one” in her return-to-racing criteria. Similar to Griffen, Grunnagle trains best with “something solid” on the calendar. But virtual races don’t quite do it for Grunnagle, who’s waiting for an in-person opportunity that feels meaningful and exciting.

“Once I have a set date for a race,” she says, “I know my physical and mental fitness will come around to be ready on that day.”

Grunnagle’s last race was the Olympic Marathon Trials in February 2020, and her next big one will likely be a fall marathon. There, she plans to “jump in and rip off the band-aid.” She sees it as a fresh start, as well as an opportunity to practice staying positive, to trust in her coaching and preparation, and to get even stronger for her next battle.

Comeback Tips: If, like Grunnagle, you’ve had a long gap between racing opportunities that fire you up, you can expect your options to increase by the month. Depending on how hard you’ve been training (or not) this last year, it may take you a while to get back in the swing of structured training and reclaim a competitive mindset. Grunnagle’s advice is to focus on daily and weekly improvement, be consistent with your training, and believe that your fitness will fall into place.

If You Race When You Feel the Itch

New York-based Allison Devereux treats racing like a surfer treats a big wave. They’re out there, watching for opportunities, and when a wave of motivation comes, they ride it. The New York City Marathon, held every November (in non-COVID years), typically gives Devereux a reason to ramp up her training the prior spring. The thawing of the city around that time helps, too.

Devereux ran 2:57 in the 2019 edition, which was her last race, and is waiting to hear whether she’s been accepted into this fall’s field. With spring in the air and a decision coming soon, she senses some momentum bubbling beneath the surface. The return of races in general will likely fuel her fire, too. “I miss waking up early and running with a big group of strangers,” says Devereux. With mass vaccinations under way, soon that might not be such a crazy concept.

Comeback Tips: 2020 wasn’t an inspiring year for road racers, to say the least. If your motivation has flagged, that’s understandable. Honor your cravings (as you might with food) and look for the next scheduled race that gets your heart pumping.

If, on the other hand, your eagerness to compete has been building, use that a secret weapon for your next race. Either way, Devereux recommends a slow transition back. Rather than fixating on speed or mileage, focus on “recovering the pure, simple joy of getting outside and running,” and trust that the urge to race—if not already present—will follow.

If You Race Your Way to Full Fitness

Then there’s the type—take Molly Grabill of Boulder, Colorado, for example—who uses early-season races as stepping stones leading to future goals. These runners start racing when they’re in good shape but not at 100 percent, and they keep lining up until (ideally) they’re in peak fitness for their target race. This approach works for Grabill because it takes some pressure off individual races and offers frequent, valuable benchmarks.

After placing 25th in the Olympic Marathon Trials, Grabill dialed back her training for the first nine months of the pandemic, slashing her mileage from triple-digit weeks to 25 to 30 miles per week.

Almost a year to the day after her last race, and on just six weeks of focused training, Grabill kicked off her 2021 track campaign with a 10,000-meter race in Austin, Texas. She walked away from that race with a PR (32:46), a runner-up finish in her heat, and a solid step taken towards her goal of qualifying for this summer’s U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, which will be hosted by her alma mater, the University of Oregon. Grabill hopes that race was the first of many between now and June, and has her eyes set on another 10,000-meter attempt in May.

Comeback Tips: First (and half-jokingly), Grabill pleads, “Don’t use the phrase ‘rust-buster’ or say you haven't done speedwork.” No one is in PR shape year-round, so you don’t need an explanation for a sub-stellar result—especially on the heels of a global pandemic. More seriously, Grabill says, “I think being confident in your running ability, and okay with where you are in your fitness, is the best way to feel successful.” As you reenter the racing scene, try to see those early ones like quizzes en route to an exam (your end goal); how you’re trending is a better metric than any one result.

If You Race to Run Fast, Place High, or Crush a Big Goal

Some people race only when they feel ready to run really well—whatever that means to them. American 25K record-holder Parker Stinson says, “I want to always be at a starting line feeling prepared and like I have a chance to break a PR or go for the win.” If he’s not in that position, he’d rather stay home and train, saving that max effort for a better day.

That doesn’t mean that all of Stinson’s races are a home run. But by constantly putting himself in positions in which running well is likely, his successes mount and his confidence soars.

In January, Stinson ended a 15-month racing lull that started with a knee injury after the 2019 Chicago Marathon, extended through 2020 (and kept him out of the marathon trials), and ended with his victorious comeback in a Naples, Florida, half marathon. He chose that race because it was low-key and he liked his odds of winning. Next up for Stinson is a half marathon in Omaha in late April, where his main objective is to “run really fast.”

Comeback Tips: Big goals come with some degree of nerves and pressure—especially when you haven’t chased one in a while. Don’t be surprised if, like Stinson, you feel “nervous as hell” before your return. Two things helped him transition back smoothly. First, he ran a few indicator workouts leading up to the race that helped him set realistic goals and boosted his self-belief. Second, Stinson reflected back on everything that seemed to work in past races, from his wakeup time and pre-race breakfast to his acknowledgement that “it’s not a workout and it’s going to hurt really, really bad.”

If You Race When You Feel Ready to Brave a Big Crowd

Though an outlier among elites, Boston-based Kaitlin Goodman has plenty of company among road racers at large. As she detailed in December, the four-time Olympic Trials qualifier, coach, and public health professional won’t race until she and more people are fully vaccinated, COVID-19 is better contained, and she feels that the rewards of racing outweigh the risks. She also cares about a race’s safety precautions, such as a mask and vaccination proof requirements.

The last starting line Goodman toed was the Olympic Marathon Trials in early 2020, and her next one probably won’t be until this summer or fall. In the meantime, she’s hardly sitting around waiting for the pandemic to pass.

“I’m keeping up baseline fitness,” she says, “so when the time comes for me to compete again, I can jump back into race-specific training, hopefully without any injuries.” She’ll also run some solo time trials to reduce the shock of a race-like effort.

Comeback Tips: Waiting to race until you feel completely safe and ready to brave big crowds is as respectable of a requirement as it gets. Mass events may not reach pre-pandemic safety levels for a while—Goodman points out that the CDC still advises against medium- and large-scale gatherings (even for the vaccinated)—but there are other ways to test your fitness until they do. In addition to running time trials, Goodman suggests signing up for virtual races, which have the added benefit of supporting a financially strapped race organization. 

Meanwhile, keep an eye on CDC recommendations and know that peace of mind is a powerful performance enhancer, no matter how long you’re away.

(07/04/2021) Views: 346 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World

Two runners from Boulder Colorado dominated the 32nd Naples Daily Néws Half Marathon

A returning champ and a first-time participant, both from the same town, took home the titles at the 32nd Naples Daily News Half Marathon on Sunday morning.

And both did it with ease despite not being in tip-top shape.

Parker Stinson and Lindsay Flanagan, both of Boulder, Colorado, won the men’s and women’s titles, respectively, in the 13.1-mile race through downtown Naples. Stinson, 28, crossed the finish line more than a minute before the second-place runner. Flanagan, 29, was nearly eight minutes faster than the women’s runner-up.

Stinson won his second NDN Half Marathon title in his return to Naples, winning Sunday in 1 hour, 3 minutes and 33.03 seconds. His time was 1.36 seconds faster than when he won in 2018.

Parker Stinson of Boulder, CO, won the Naples Daily News Half Marathon. Runners had a great morning to run in the Naples Daily News Half Marathon. Masks and social distancing rules were used to make the race a success.

Parker Stinson of Boulder, CO, won the Naples Daily News Half Marathon. Runners had a great morning to run in the Naples Daily News Half Marathon. Masks and social distancing rules were used to make the race a success.

“I just wanted to win,” Stinson said. “When I was out there all alone I thought, ‘I just really want to break 1:04.00.’ … There’s nothing like breaking the tape and finishing first. That’s why I came here, I wanted to win again.”

Sunday’s race had a limited field and new protocols due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers capped participation at 1,000 runners (it's usually between 1,500 and 2,000). The elite runners started together at 6:55 a.m. The rest of the field was started in five waves, one every five minutes from 7 to 7:20 a.m., to limit the amount of people in one space.

Victory was especially sweet for Stinson because he was competing in his first race in 15 months. The American record holder in the 25-kilometers, Stinson had knee surgery in July after dealing with pain in the joint for months.

Despite soreness in the knee Sunday morning – which happens every morning, he said – Stinson was able to start fast. He raced ahead of the pack of 30 elite runners at the start of the race and led the entire way.

“The knee felt good,” Stinson said. “I was really happy with how fast I was able to start. It was perfect weather today, couldn’t have been any better. Today was perfect, everything I could have asked for.”

Flanagan, the women’s champion, said she getting back into shape for long distances after spending the cold Colorado winter working on strength. She also didn’t decided to run the Naples half marathon until a few weeks ago.

Lindsay Flanagan of Boulder, CO, was the first woman to cross the finish line. Runners had a great morning to run in the Naples Daily News Half Marathon. Masks and social distancing rules were used to make the race a success.

Lindsay Flanagan of Boulder, CO, was the first woman to cross the finish line. Runners had a great morning to run in the Naples Daily News Half Marathon. Masks and social distancing rules were used to make the race a success.

In her first time in Naples, the former NCAA All-American runner for Washington ran the third-fastest women’s race in the event’s 32 years. Flanagan’s time was 26.3 seconds off the NDN Half Marathon record (1:09:57.6) set in 2011 by Belainesh Gebre.

“For where I am, coming off the winter, this was a great fitness test to see where I’m at,” Flanagan said. “It feels great to kick off the 2021 season with a win.”

Steven Martinez of August, Georgia, finished second overall in 1:04:35.91, followed by Nick French of Nashville, Tennessee, in 1:05:21.56.

Naples High School graduate Kurt Roeser finished sixth with a time of 1:06:19.17.

Roeser, 33, has been training and working as a physical therapist in Boulder since he finished running at the University of Florida. The 2005 Naples grad finished Sunday’s race three minutes faster than last year when he took seventh at the same event.

Runners had a great morning to run in the Naples Daily News Half Marathon. Masks and social distancing rules were used to make the race a success. Runners could take off their mask after the cross the start line.

Runners had a great morning to run in the Naples Daily News Half Marathon. Masks and social distancing rules were used to make the race a success. Runners could take off their mask after the cross the start line.

“This is the best I’ve ever run here by about a minute,” Roeser said. “I was lucky to run a race about six weeks ago and have a big (personal record) there (1:04.40). … I’m in the best shape, the best fitness I’ve ever been in in my life.”

Naples resident Aubrey Aldy was the top local finisher, taking 12th over all in 1:13:20.35. Aldy won the men’s masters division (40 and older).

Alexandra Gardino was the top finisher among local women. She was ninth in the women’s race with a time of 1:31:15.08.

(01/18/2021) Views: 362 ⚡AMP
Naples Half Marathon

Naples Half Marathon

Why run Naples? It's a flat, fast and shady loop. Spirits are always really high, in part from the carbed-up pasta feeds and also because of the really colorful Coolmax shirts! The finish line is where the party begins, with unique quality medals to all finishers who finish within the race time limit, door prizes including weekends at beach front...


Dathan Ritzenhein Retires at Age 37

Dathan Ritzenhein, a high school prodigy who went on to become a two-time global medalist, three-time Olympian, five-time national champion and a 2:07 marathoner, has decided to retire after 16 years of professional running. 

The 37 year-old, who grew up in Rockford, Mich., and competed for the University of Colorado during his collegiate career, decided that he had accomplished all of his main goals and the time was right to shift his focus away from competitive running.

“I guess I’m not necessarily 25 and retiring in my prime,” Ritzenhein told Race Results Weekly by telephone from his Michigan home yesterday just after finishing a hard 10-mile run.  He continued: “I have things that I wish that I have done in my career, but I’m also very satisfied, too.  I think right now it’s something that I thought a lot about the last year. 

I’ve had a lot of nostalgic moments, looking back a lot more than looking forward.  So, I don’t know that I had a lot more goals that I was looking to accomplish.”

While still competing for Colorado, Ritzenhein made his first of three Olympic teams in 2004, despite finishing only 22nd at the USA Olympic Trials in the 10,000m.  Ritzenhein made the team because he was one of only five athletes entered who had the Olympic “A” standard of 27:49.00 (he had run 27:38.50 in his debut at the distance in April, then a U.S. collegiate record).  Trials winner Meb Keflezighi opted for the marathon (where he would win the silver medal) and Bob Kennedy dropped out.  That left Abdi Abdirahman, Dan Browne (who would also compete in the Marathon) and Ritzenhein to run the 10,000m in Athens, the three remaining finishers who had the standard.  Running on a badly injured foot in Athens, Ritzenhein failed to finish.

“My first one was a miserable experience where I hobbled my way on,” Ritzenhein said of making his first Olympic team.  He continued: “I made the standard, and just not many people had it.  Bob Kennedy had it and Meb, and Dan Browne and Abdi.  Meb ended up running the marathon and Bob Kennedy dropped out of the 10-K, and I knew I just had to finish the race.”

Ritzenhein made his professional racing debut at the Boclassic 10-K in Bolzano, Italy, on December 31, 2004, the day after his 22nd birthday.  He pushed the pace with two laps to go in the 8-lap race and finished third behind Sergey Lebed of Ukraine and Stefano Baldini of Italy (Baldini was the reigning Olympic Marathon champion).  Ritzenhein had signed with Nike just prior to the Athens Olympics, and Brad Hudson became his coach.  He won both the USATF cross country and 10-K road running titles in 2005, and under Hudson’s coaching jumped right to the marathon in 2006, making his debut at the New York City Marathon.  It was a controversial decision, and after a 1:05:35 first half he finished 11th in 2:14:01, calling the discomfort he endured in the last four miles “undescribable.”

Almost exactly a year later, Ritzenhein returned to New York for the 2008 USA Olympic Trials Marathon (which were held in November, 2007), and he finished second to Ryan Hall in 2:11:07, a personal best.  He would go on to finish ninth in the Olympic Marathon the following year in Beijing, and it looked like Ritzenhein was going to focus mainly on the marathon.

But unlike other track runners who moved up, Ritzenhein wasn’t so quick to abandon the track, cross country or road races below the marathon distance.  He used his marathon strength to great effect in training, and his track running was never better.  In one of his best years, 2009, he set the American record for 5000m of 12:56.27 (since broken), ran a 10,000m personal best of 27:22.28 when he finished sixth at the IAAF World Championships 10,000m, and won a bronze medal at the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships, running 1:00:00.  He was also the runner-up at the USATF championships for both the 10,000m and half-marathon, and finished 10th at the London Marathon.

“That’s what always drove me,” said Ritzenhein.  “I would always have these goals and you’d have these valleys between them.  Really high moments, like the American record, bronze medal at the world junior championships (in cross country), or the world half-marathon championships.  Those are the races where you just feel invincible.”

But he was not invincible.  Ritzenhein suffered numerous injuries throughout his career (he recalled having over 40 MRI’s), and had to have surgeries three times.  He missed most of 2011 due to a surgery to his right Achilles tendon, but his long recovery (made even longer by a lingering infection) set him up for his most dramatic year, 2012.

“After three years away from the track I had doubts,” Ritzenhein said.  “I poured it all out there.  At the Olympic Trials it was an epic day.  I didn’t have the standard and quite a few people in the race did.”  He added: “It seemed like an impossible task.”

Ritzenhein said that he will always be a runner, and that he’ll still run hard sometimes (he averaged a six-minute pace on yesterday’s 10-miler, he said).  He already coaches a few athletes, including marathoner Parker Stinson.

“This isn’t the end for sure,” he said.  “This is all I know.  The sport of running is my passion and my love.”  He added: “I’m looking forward to continuing to give back to the sport; coaching is a passion of mine.  I love writing, to talk to people, and give people advice.  It’s in my DNA.  I’ll always run.  It’s just something I can’t go without.”

(05/07/2020) Views: 433 ⚡AMP
by David Monti

The Elite field at the River Bank 25k Run and other races may be affected because they needed to move their date to the fall

The rescheduling of the Amway River Bank Run in Grand Rapid Michigan to the fall will affect the number of elite runners for the 25K race, but organizers say that was expected anyway in an Olympic year.

"If it was May, we knew the Olympics would have an impact and we expect that will carry over and extend to the fall as well," said Greg Meyer, the elite athlete coordinator for the River Bank Run.

Race officials announced Friday the 43rd edition of the run would be rescheduled from May 9 to Oct. 24 because of the coronavirus.  

The upcoming Summer Olympics had already affected interest and availability in the elite field, said Meyer, noting that’s an every-four-year challenge for organizers. The Olympic contingent includes Aliphine Tuliamuk, a three-time women’s winner of the River Bank Run, and Molly Seidel, who was second last year.

Add in the fears of COVID-19 and the expectations have been narrowed.

"There's not a whole lot we can do about it," he said. "Yeah, it is basically starting from scratch (with the date change), but it's a one-year thing and we'll do the best we can. For the majority of people, this is a community run, the highlight of their running year, and that's something that won't change."

Last year about 3,700 competed in the 25K, won by Parker Stinson of Boulder, Colorado (1:13:46.44) and Emma Bates of Boise, Idaho (1:23:49.50).

Meyer has heard complaints from those who dislike the second Saturday in May for the race and may prefer the fall date. But he dismissed that.

"To me, the River Bank Run is really the rite of spring around here," he said. "Yeah, for some it's not the perfect timing. But you know what? For so many it's been just right. I'm not going to second-guess that."

The River Bank Run, with around 17,000 entries for its various events, is now like many big races pushed to the fall, including the Boston Marathon (from April to September) and the London Marathon (from April to October), while the Chicago Marathon remains set for Oct. 11.

(03/21/2020) Views: 926 ⚡AMP
by Peter Wallner
Amway River Bank Run

Amway River Bank Run

The Amway River Bank Run presented by Fifth Third Bank with Spectrum Health the Official Health Partner will celebrate 43 years. More than 16,000 people are expected to compete in the event which features the largest 25K road race in the country and offers the only 25K Wheelchair racing division in the world along with a 25K Handcycle division. The...


Galen Rupp and Jared Ward, who placed first and third at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon lead the way Saturday, headlining a deep and talented men’s field that brings together the best of the best

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon are the second stop on the 2020 USATF Running Circuit. The top three finishers Saturday will represent the United States as the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. Fans can tune-in for the live broadcast beginning at 12:00pm ET on NBC or NBC Sports Gold, with the men’s race beginning at 12:08pm ET and the women’s race starting at 12:20pm ET. 

While Rupp had to drop out of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October, he still enters Saturday’s race as the prohibitive favorite. Rupp ran the top qualifying mark at the Prague Marathon in 2018, finishing in 2:06:07, while earning fifth at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon that fall in 2:06:21. In addition to earning bronze in the marathon at the Olympic Games in Rio, finishing second at the Boston Marathon in 2017 and winning in Chicago in 2017, Rupp has unmatched big-race experience against the field.

The Portland-based runner recently ran a tune-up half marathon in Arizona, finishing in 1:01:19, proving he’s in excellent shape. Not to be outdone, Ward also has some impressive finishes to his name after finishing third in Los Angeles four years ago.

The Utah-based standout placed sixth at the Olympic Games in Rio and has consistently shown his ability to finish well up the results at major events. 

Ward ran to an eighth-place effort at the Boston Marathon last spring, finishing in 2:09:25, while earning top American status at the TCS New York City Marathon in November with a sixth-place effort. Recently running 1:01:36 at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon and finishing as the top American gives Ward plenty of momentum heading into Atlanta. On paper, Leonard Korir is the next top challenger.

While Korir has only run one marathon, it was a great performance. At the Amsterdam Marathon last fall, Korir ran the second fastest qualifying mark of Saturday’s field, placing 11th overall in 2:07:56, making him the top American performer over the distance in 2019. Along with his success on the USATF Running Circuit, as well as on the track, Korir certainly has the ability to push for the win. Next up is Scott Fauble.

The HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite star has proven himself time and time again the past two years, quickly rising the ranks of American marathoning. Fauble placed seventh at the TCS New York City Marathon in 2018, finishing only four seconds behind Ward, while placing as the top American at the Boston Marathon in 2019 in 2:09:08, while beating Ward. 

The trio of Jacob Riley, Jerrell Mock and Parker Stinson are also prime to put themselves in contention over the final miles, pushing for a spot on the Olympic team. The trio finished ninth, tenth and eleventh at the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Riley has the most experience of the group and his 2:10:53 effort in Chicago rank him as one of the top five fastest in the field Saturday.

Two other notable top contenders are Elkanah Kibet and Shadrack Biwott. Kibet has quietly become one of America’s best marathoners, having placed 11th at the Boston Marathon in 2019 and eighth at the 2018 Boston Marathon. Owning a personal best of 2:11:51, he ranks well in Saturday’s field.

The trio of Matt Llano, Andrew Bumbalough and Chris Derrick are also looking to make an Olympic-sized result Saturday. Bumbalough enters with a 2:10:56 best coming at the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Another trio of incredibly experienced veterans are also entered and will be looking to make one more push for an Olympic berth. Bernard Lagat, Abdi Abdirahman and Dathan Ritzenhein are all American distance running legends. Each has qualified for at least three Olympics and represented the United States extremely well on the world stage.

(02/26/2020) Views: 722 ⚡AMP
by Scott Bush
2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

2020 US Olympic Trials Marathon

The 2020 US Olympic Trials for both men and women took place in Atlanta, Ga on Sunday Feb 29. Runners had to qualify by running certain standards beforehand. The trials are hosted by the Atlanta Track club. The course runs through the heart of Atlanta and past monuments from the 1996 Olympic Games Most countries around the world use a...


A year ago, Reed Fischer paid his own way to the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon this year he is excited for his return

Without a sponsor, the former Drake Bulldog didn’t have a racing uniform to wear.  So, he stopped by the race expo at the cavernous George R. Brown Convention Center to do some shopping.

“I bought just a plain, black Nike singlet,” Fischer told Race Results Weekly in an interview here today.  “I was, and still am, unsponsored.  So for me, I just wanted to have a very understated, mixed-brand look.”  He continued: “I just wanted people to know where I stood from a sponsorship standpoint.”

Holding the pace that his coach Tom Schwartz said he was capable of, Fischer ran the four 5-kilometer segments within the race in 14:51, 14:38, 14:41 and 14:49, respectively.  He pushed through the final 1097 meters in a brisk 3:07, and crossed the finish line in 1:02:06, s 51-second personal best.  Along the way, he set road PB’s for 10-K (29:29), 15-K (44:10) and 20-K (58:59).  He was also the first American, beating better-known athletes like Parker Stinson and Noah Droddy, and his time made him the sixth-fastest American at the half-marathon distance for 2019.

Was he surprised at his performance?

“Yes,” Fischer admitted.  “Maybe a bit more than I expected, to be completely honest.  Coach Schwartz and I knew I was in around 62-minute shape, so from a time standpoint I ran 62:06, basically right where we hoped that I could run.  But, I did not expect to crack the top-10 or be the top American.”

Fischer, who trains with the Tinman Elite group in Boulder, Colo., comes to this year’s race with a different mindset.  He was supposed to make his marathon debut in Chicago last October, but had to withdraw when he suffered a “mild stress reaction” in his left foot, according to his Instagram page.  It was a devastating setback for the young runner who had put together a very solid block of training.

“Working through my first injury as an athlete has been undoubtedly difficult, but I’ve found a new appreciation for running as a result,” Fischer posted on Instagram at the time.  “I’m incredibly grateful for my support team, they’ve helped keep me optimistic and get me back to running as quickly as possible.”

Revising his plans, Fischer will now make his marathon debut at the USA Olympic Trials Marathon on Saturday, February 29.  His race here on Sunday comes off of heavy marathon training and will provide a valuable test for his fitness.  He is trying for a nuanced approach.

“There two ways you can approach it,” Fischer explained.  “One, is you go and have a nice conservative day and feel good about where things are at, and maybe don’t run 100% of what you could.  Or, the other one’s, maybe, you say I’m just going to try and see if I can make something happen on some tired legs, go 100% effort and see if it pans out, or if you crash and burn.  I’m trying to toe the line between the two.  I’m trying to run really aggressively and rip the band-aid off.”  He continued: “I’m definitely fitter than last year.”

Fischer has been in Boulder two and a half years training with Tinman Elite, and he loves the camaraderie of the group.  The other athletes –Drew Hunter, Jeff Thies, Aaron Templeton, Joseph Berriatua, Connor Winter, Kyle Medina, Jordan Gusman, Sam Parsons, and Patrick Joseph– are middle-distance/5000m athletes, so Fischer is their long distance man (marathoner Brogan Austin is also part of Tinman, but he trains in Iowa). 

(01/18/2020) Views: 689 ⚡AMP
by David Monti
Aramco Houston Half Marathon

Aramco Houston Half Marathon

The Chevron Houston Marathon offers participants a unique running experience in America's fourth largest city. The fast, flat, scenic single-loop course has been ranked as the "fastest winter marathon" and "second fastest marathon overall" by Ultimate Guide To Marathons. After 30 years of marathon-only competition, Houston added the half-marathon in 2002, with El Paso Energy as the sponsor. Today the...


It was a good day for American men at the Chicago Marathon as the top four ran under 2:11

The Chicago Marathon may not have gone well for 2017 champion and Olympic bronze medalist Galen Rupp, who dropped out just before the 23-mile mark. (He had been nursing a calf strain since mile  six and just could not handle the pain any longer.) But for many of the other American pro men, the cool temperatures, boisterous crowds, and fast course brought breakthroughs.

Four U.S. men ran under 2:11, six placed in the top 15, and many others set significant personal bests.

Working together in a pack, a group of more than a dozen stuck together through about the 35K mark, trading off leading duties because of the wind. 

They didn’t coordinate beforehand, exactly, but they shared a goal: “We were all interested in having a good American day,” said top U.S. finisher Jacob Riley, 31, who finished ninth in 2:10:36.

Riley is no newcomer to Chicago—he debuted at the distance here in 2014, when he ran 2:13:16 to place second American and 11th overall. At the Olympic Marathon Trials in 2016, he placed 15th, with a 2:18:31.

But he hasn’t toed a marathon starting line since. In fact, he’s undergone a near complete life upheaval. He left Michigan and the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project to move to Boulder, Colorado, where he now trains under coach Lee Troop. In 2018, he underwent Achilles surgery due to a condition called Haglund’s deformity—the same one that affected Rupp. 

Amidst all the challenge, he said, he definitely contemplated quitting. “At the same time, running has been kind of the constant in my life since I was in high school,” he said. “The idea of having all this other change and then not doing that as well was scary and just not worth it. 

After a slow, steady, return to running—he recalls Troop assigning him segments of one-minute jogs with nine-minute walk breaks—Riley raced again at the Boulder Boulder 10K in May, where he ran 31:20 and placed 25th. On Sept. 2, he ran 1:10:59 for 15th place at the USATF 20K Championships, which “felt terrible.”

“This is the first race where I've actually felt like the old me beforehand—or actually a better me, because I have two good Achilles now,” he said.

In his debut at the distance, 24-year-old Jerrell Mock ran 2:10:37 to place ninth, and second American. An All-American at Colorado State, Mock finished just out of contention to make the 10K final at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Though he graduated last year, he still lives and trains in Fort Collins, Colorado, and is coached by CSU’s Art Siemers.

This year, he ran 1:02:15 to place 13th—and third American—in his first half marathon, in Houston. His 59:43, ninth-place finish at the USATF 20K Championships last month gave him confidence lining up in Chicago.

Still, he didn’t know quite what to expect in the marathon, given the “horror stories” he’d heard about the later miles. “I was just waiting to get to that moment of darkness,” he said. But it never came. “The mile splits just stayed right on. And so when we got to 20, I was like—‘Man, I think, I think I might've gotten away with it.”

Both Riley and Mock are unsponsored and wore ZoomX Vaporfly Next% shoes during the race. “I bought into the hype,” Riley said, though he noted he’s open to experimentation if any sponsors should come calling. Mock expressed similar sentiments: “There’s a lot of companies that are coming out with the same kind of idea now,” he said. “I’d be interested to try some of those too.”

Parker Stinson, meanwhile, runs in Saucony—making him one of the few elites in the field not to sport bright pink on their feet. He denied that puts him at a disadvantage, noting that he broke the American record in the 25K—the 1:13:48 he ran in May’s River Bank Run—in the brand. 

(10/13/2019) Views: 925 ⚡AMP
by Runner’s World
Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and...


Dathan Ritzenhein is Withdrawing from 2019 Chicago Marathon

Dathan Ritzenhein‘s injury woes continue. On Monday, Ritzenhein, the fourth-fastest US marathoner ever, announced that he is withdrawing from next month’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon due to chronic foot problems that “flared up some other areas.”

Ritzenhein’s Chicago preparations appeared to be going well. He ran 64:27 to win the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon on July 21, and ran 47:19 at the Crim 10-Miler in Michigan on August 24, his fastest performance over that distance since 2015. But after that race, Ritzenhein said, a nagging arthritis problem in his foot flared up and caused him to miss a few weeks of running. Fellow American Chris Derrick also withdrew from Chicago after suffering an ankle fracture at Crim.

“I’m feeling better now,” Ritzenhein told, “but missed a few weeks of running and need a few more rebuilding.”

Ritzenhein said he still plans on being in Chicago on October 13 supporting fellow pro Parker Stinson, whom Ritzenhein has been coaching since last fall.

After making three consecutive Olympic teams in 2004, 2008, and 2012, injuries have consistently derailed the 36-year-old Ritzenhein in recent years. He was forced to drop out of the 2016 Olympic Trials and 2016 New York City Marathon and withdrew from the 2018 Boston Marathon just days before the race with a sacroiliac joint injury.

He has finished just one marathon in the last four years, placing 19th in Boston in April in 2:16:19 after attempting an abbreviated eight-week buildup in order to stay healthy.

While Ritzenhein officially broke the news of his withdrawal on social media on Monday, a poster on the LetsRun messageboard — who claimed to be the same person who correctly predicted that both Amy Cragg and Jordan Hasay would withdraw from Chicago last year — started a thread on Sunday predicting that Ritzenhein would withdraw from the race.

(09/17/2019) Views: 933 ⚡AMP
Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and...


Leonard Korir and Sara Hall defend their national titles at the Faxon Law New Haven 20K

A few weeks ago, Leonard Korir became the first American man in three decades to win the Falmouth Road Race.

He’s still on a roll – on Monday, Korir pulled away after the third mile at the Faxon Law New Haven Road Race to win his third 20K USATF championship on a cooler than usual Labor Day in 59:06.

Korir, 32, of Colorado Springs won the race in 2016 and 2018 and was edged by Galen Rupp, an Olympic bronze and silver medalist, in 2017.

“I’m feeling very, very good,” Korir said. “I had a good race in Falmouth. That gave me motivation that my fitness is good, so I said, ‘Let me go again to this race and maybe push myself to know if I’m consistent.’”

Sara Hall of Flagstaff, Ariz., defended her women’s title, winning the 12.4-mile race in 1:06:47.

“It was so fun to be out here again,” said Hall, 36. “This race is really tough. Last year, I couldn’t even run marathon pace. It’s really encouraging to be able to run a good amount faster. I have my sister and her kids out there cheering, they live right on the course. That gave me a big boost.”

It wasn’t as humid as it usually is for the day of the annual race, with temperatures in the low 70s.

“Compared to last year, today was better,” Korir said. “It was just windy.”

Moath Alkhawaldeh of Amman, Jordan won the accompanying half-marathon (1:08:48) and Myriam Coulibaly of New York City was the women’s winner (1:31:33). Glastonbury’s Matthew Farrell won the 5K in 15:07 and Emily Stark of New Haven was the women’s winner (18:03).

Everett Hackett of Hartford was the top state finisher in the 20K (14th, 1:01:45) and Annmarie Tuxbury of New Hartford was the top female finisher (12th, 1:11:15).

Luke Puskedra, who retired from running competitively in the spring to open a real estate business in Eugene, Oregon but decided to come and run New Haven, and Parker Stinson, the national 25K record holder, led a large pack in the 20K early on but Korir took the lead after the pack went through the third mile in 14:11 and he just kept extending the lead.

“I saw them take off and it was like, ‘All right, I’ll see you guys,’” Puskedra said, laughing, who finished 23rd in 1:03:06.

Korir went through the halfway point in 29:21 and the trailing pack was over 30 seconds behind him but although he had a big lead, he was still not on pace for the race record (57:37 set by Khalid Khannouchi in 1998).

“It’s tough,” Korir said of the record. “You have to have good weather and no wind coming on your face.”

(09/02/2019) Views: 1,155 ⚡AMP
by Lori Riley
New Haven Road Race

New Haven Road Race

Home of the Men’s & Women’s USATF 20K National Championship.The New Haven Road Race has again been selected to host the U.S. Men’s & Women’s 20K National Championship. The event expects to feature a number of past champions and U.S. Olympians.The New Haven Road Race is the LONGEST RUNNING USATF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! The race has been selected as Runner’s World...


Strong field of American runners will join previously announced superstars Galen Rupp and Jordan Hasay at the Chicago Marathon on October 13

“This year’s elite field highlights an exciting resurgence we are seeing in American distance running right now,” said Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. “We have a deep pool of American runners who are coming to Chicago to run fast, and we cannot wait to welcome them in the fall. We could see new American records and a lot of personal bests in October.”

With a PR of 2:20:57, Jordan Hasay leads this year’s women’s field as the second-fastest American woman in history and the fastest to ever run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Hasay hopes to put Deena Kastor’s long-standing American record, 2:19:36, in jeopardy.

But Hasay’s primary competitor won’t be the clock alone – Amy Cragg, Emma Bates, Stephanie Bruce, Lindsay Flanagan and Taylor Ward represent a strong contingent of U.S. women all vying for podium finishes. The last time three American women finished in the top five in Chicago was 1994, and the last time U.S. women claimed the top two spots was 1992. Chicago’s history could be rewritten this fall.

Cragg, a member of Nike’s Bowerman Track Club since 2015 and the winner of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials, enters this year’s field as the fifth-fastest American woman in history with a personal best of 2:21:42. Cragg stunned the world at the 2017 IAAF World Championships Marathon when she ended a 34-year medal drought by taking home the bronze. While she hasn’t raced much in 2019, she won the one-time Road to Gold eight-mile road race in Atlanta in March.

Galen Rupp, a two-time Olympic medalist in the marathon (bronze) and 10,000m (silver) and the current holder of four American records, stands out in the men’s field as the 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion and as one of the fastest runners in U.S. history with a PR of 2:06:07. While it will be difficult to match the foot speed of someone like Rupp, several American men have the potential to run significant personal bests and place inside of the top ten.

Brogan Austin, Chris Derrick, Scott Smith, Diego Estrada, Dathan Ritzenhein, Noah Droddy and Brendan Gregg are among some of the top Americans in this year’s field. Austin closed out 2018 with a career-boosting win, a national title and a huge personal best, 2:12:38, at the California International Marathon. Prior to that breakthrough performance, he broke the course record at the Indiana Monumental Half Marathon, clocking 1:02:39. He built on his 2018 momentum by winning the Road to Gold eight-mile road race in March.

The Chicago Marathon will be Austin’s third go at the marathon. Derrick, a native of Naperville, Illinois and the 2013-2015 U.S. Cross Country champion, made his highly anticipated marathon debut in Chicago in 2017, running 2:12:50 to finish ninth. He followed up his debut performance with a ninth-place finish in 2:13:08 at the 2018 New York City Marathon.

Derrick, one of the elite pacers for Nike’s Breaking2 project in 2017, is one of the most versatile runners in the field with PRs of 13:08 in the 5,000m, 27:31 in the 10,000m, and 1:01:12 in the half marathon. 

Smith, a 4:01-miler, experienced a huge breakthrough in the marathon in 2017 when he posted a 2:12:21 in Frankfurt, and then he hung on to finish sixth overall at the 2018 Boston Marathon (the now infamous year where runners endured whipping winds and freezing rain). He trains with Northern Arizona Elite, and he has represented the U.S. internally in both the half marathon and marathon at the IAAF World Championships. Smith’s strongest performance came in May when he finished second at the USATF 25K national championships. 

Estrada has been a favorite among Chicagoans, ever since his 2016 breakout performance in Chicago and his second-place finish at the 2017 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle. After slipping on a bottle at the 10K mark during his Chicago debut and badly twisting his ankle, Estrada rallied to finish eighth overall (first American) in his still-standing personal best, 2:13:56. He finished 16th in 2017 and he did not race a marathon in 2018. Estrada hasn’t raced much on the roads in 2019, but his half marathon speed (1:00:51) and 2:13 PR indicate that he has the talent to be a top marathon runner heading into 2020.

Ritzenhein (“Ritz”), a three-time Olympian and the fifth-fastest American in history, enters Chicago with one of the most impressive resumes. He has broken 13 minutes in the 5,000m, run 27:22 in the 10,000m, collected four national titles, and earned a bronze medal at the 2009 IAAF World Championships Half Marathon. He set his marathon PR seven years ago in Chicago, 2:07:47. At 36 and now racing with the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, Ritzenhein is a veteran, but his 1:01:24 half marathon earlier this year still makes him a top contender. 

Droddy and Gregg both bring massive potential to this year’s field. Droddy, always a crowd favorite, ran his personal best, 2:16:26, in Chicago in 2017, but his half marathon best, 1:01:48, suggests that there is room to demolish his PR this fall. Gregg made his debut in Chicago in 2014 in 2:18:30, and he experienced his best performance in 2018 at the California International Marathon, running 2:13:27. 

This year’s field also includes 25K American record-holder, Parker Stinson, and exciting debuts from Reed Fischer and Justin Gallegos. In 2018, Gallegos became the first professional athlete with cerebral palsy to sign a contract with Nike.

(07/12/2019) Views: 1,208 ⚡AMP
Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and...


Aliphine Tuliamuk will be on the USA roster for the up coming Bolder Boulder

The women’s team will feature former Colorado Buffaloes star Aliphine Tiliamuk along with Shalaya Kipp, Tiliamuk finished second at last year’s women’s International Team Challenge.

Tuliamuk finished 11 seconds behind Ethiopia’s Mamita Daska, who won the elite 10-kilometer race for a record sixth time in 2018.

Rounding out the women’s squad will be Lindsey Scherf, who finished sixth last year on a USA women’s red team finished second behind Daska’s Ethiopian team; Taylor Ward, who finished third at the FORTitude pro 10K in Fort Collins last year; 2017 women’s citizen’s race winner Lauren Martin Masterson; a Deanna Ardrey, Stephanie Bruce, Melissa Dock, and Kaitlin Goodmen.

The remainder of the men’s team will be comprised of Parker Stinson, Haron Lagat, Reid Buchanan, Reed Fischer, Tim Rackers, Jake Riley, and Diego Estrada, who finished eighth last year and is the top returning American in the professional field.

The remainder of the international field will be announced at a later date.

“We’re ready for a super competitive international event thanks to the athlete’s continuing commitment to the race, “ Bolder Boulder race director Cliff Bosley said in a statement.

“Some of the top-ranked teams are trained in both altitude and marathon running and bring a competitive edge that keeps the event exhilarating to watch each and every year.”

(05/21/2019) Views: 1,091 ⚡AMP


In 1979 we dreamt of attracting a few hundred of our friends to race though the streets of Boulder, Colorado to celebrate Memorial Day with our families. Fast forward almost 40 years and the Bolder BOULDER has grown to become one of the largest and most highly acclaimed 10K’s in the world. Almost 1.2 million runners, joggers, walkers and spectators...


Strong field is set for Bolder Boulder including Jared Ward and Tyler McCandless

Returning to race this year is Jared Ward who was the first American in the New York Marathon and finished 8th overall at the Boston Marathon and Tyler McCandless who won the 2018 Bolder Boulder citizen’s race.

“We feel that with the strong pool of runners this year that Team USA could possibly take first place,” said pro athlete coordinator, Don Janicki. “With three returning champions in the men’s field it will be a really great competitive race.”

Members of the Men’s Team USA also include national title winner Parker Stinson who shattered 25K American record at the USATF 25K in May 2019 by 30 seconds, Haron Lagat who placed second at the 2017 Fortitude 10K Pro Race Chase; Diego Estrada who has a 10K personal best of 27:57;  Reid Buchanan who has a 27:58 10K PR; Eagle Scout Reed Fischer who has a 10K PR of 28:38; Boulder Track Club member Tim Rackers; and Boulder based professional runner Jake Riley who has a 10K PR of 27:59.

The Women’s Team USA include Taylor Ward; a rising star in American women’s distance running who placed third at the 2018 Fortitude 10K Pro Race Chase.

Lindsey Scherf who broke the indoor marathon world record at the Armory NYC Indoor Marathon World Record Challenge in 2018 by nearly two minutes; Lauren Martin Masterson who was the first female finisher of the 2017 Bolder Boulder citizen’s race; Kaitlin Goodmen who has a 10K PR of 33:18; and Stephanie Bruce who set a PR at the 5,000 meters indoors (15:44) at the New Balance Boston Indoor Games; Former Colorado Buffaloes star Shalaya Kipp.

In addition to the Americans competing at this year’s race, the Bolder Boulder will be welcoming teams from all over the world including Ethiopia, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Tanzania, Bahrain, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Pan South America.

“We’re ready for a super competitive international event thanks to the athlete’s continuing commitment to the race, “said Race Director, Cliff Bosley. “Some of the top ranked teams are trained in both altitude and marathon running and bring a competitive edge that keeps the event exhilarating to watch each and every year.”

(05/17/2019) Views: 1,360 ⚡AMP


In 1979 we dreamt of attracting a few hundred of our friends to race though the streets of Boulder, Colorado to celebrate Memorial Day with our families. Fast forward almost 40 years and the Bolder BOULDER has grown to become one of the largest and most highly acclaimed 10K’s in the world. Almost 1.2 million runners, joggers, walkers and spectators...


Record setting performances at the 42nd Annual River Bank 25K Run

Emma Bates crossed the finish line with a smile and arms outstretched, while Parker Stinson (photo) roared in with tears of joy.

Both had reason to celebrate with record-setting performances Saturday at the Amway River Bank Run 25K in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

Under cool race conditions that began and finished under temperatures in the low to mid 40s and clouds, the two smashed previous records with dominating performances in the 42nd edition of the race.

Bates, runner-up at last year's race, pulled away from Sara Hall and finished in one hour, 23 minutes and 50 seconds to break the 2012 record by 34 seconds, while Stinson, who was third in 2017, finished in 1:13.46 to better a twice-reached mark of 1:14.18 from 2013 and 2014.

Each won $10,000 for first and an additional $5,000 for the record. Bates added another $2,500 for crossing the finish line first in the race-within-a-race against the men.

Stinson was emotional after the race. The 27-year-old from Boulder, Colorado, pulled away from the field within the first four miles, routinely doing 4:40 miles and was never threatened.

"I've run that way so many times and just been mocked and made fun of for running out front and believing in myself," he said. "So today, to break the record and running every single step by myself - I just killed a lot of demons today."

The knock on Stinson has been a tendency to get overly excited and burn too much energy, leaving little for the end.

"Even Mile 12, I came out of those hills running 4:20 pace and I dialed it back a bit," he said. "I told myself, 'Don't make this hard on yourself. You're in a good spot and stay in the zone.'"

Stinson also benefitted from training with Dathan Ritzenhein, a three-time Olympian who lives in Rockford and trains Stinson. Stinson has stayed with the Ritzenhein family the past 10 days.

"I guess now I owe him some money for room and board now that I actually have some," Stinson said with a laugh.

For Ritzenhein, his first significant win as a coach was also nerve wrecking as Stinson jumped out fast.

"When he jumped out so fast early he was pushing the extreme of what we said," Ritzenhein said. "He stuck with it and knew where he was (in the field). I was a wreck, but he was great."

Stinson wiped the field. Second place went to Scott Smith in 1:15:05, more than 80 seconds behind, while Kiya Dandena was third (1:15.37).

Meanwhile, on the women's side, Bates was locked in a duel with Hall - just as the two did along with Stephanie Bruce last week at the USATF Half Marathon in Pittsburgh.

While Hall outlasted Bates to finish second a week ago behind Bruce, Bates pulled away this time at about the nine-mile mark to win by 1:42 ahead of Hall.

Molly Bookmyer was third (1:27:26).

(05/12/2019) Views: 1,463 ⚡AMP
Amway River Bank Run

Amway River Bank Run

The Amway River Bank Run presented by Fifth Third Bank with Spectrum Health the Official Health Partner will celebrate 43 years. More than 16,000 people are expected to compete in the event which features the largest 25K road race in the country and offers the only 25K Wheelchair racing division in the world along with a 25K Handcycle division. The...


Belay Tilahun of Ethiopia and Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya won their New York City racing debuts in the open division

Tilahun, a 24-year-old member of West Side Runners, recorded his surprise victory in a time of 1:02:10 with an exciting kick through the final two miles. 

“I was feeling quite cold at the beginning, but as I was warming up, I began to feel better. After about 15 kilometers, I was confident that I could win. So I used the finishing kick that I had to win,” Tilahun said. 

Eritrea’s Daniel Mesfun finished second in 1:02:16 after leading for the majority of the race, while U.S. Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo took third in 1:02:19 in his half-marathon debut. 

A record eight American men finished in the top 10 in the open division, as Chelimo was followed by Jared Ward, Noah Droddy, Brogan Austin, Tim Ritchie, John Raneri, Parker Stinson, and Ben True, respectively.

 In the women’s open division, Jepkosgei, the half marathon world record-holder, won her first-ever race in the United States on a solo run to the finish in a time of 1:10:07. The world championship silver medalist in the distance became the sixth woman from Kenya to win the event, and the first to do so since 2014. “This season I am preparing to debut in the marathon, and this was a great half marathon to see how my body feels,” Jepkosgei said.

Fellow Kenyan Mary Ngugi came through the finish line one minute later in 1:11:07 to take second place, 15-hundredths of a second ahead of last year’s champion, Ethiopia’s Buze Diriba.

Emma Bates, the 2018 USATF Marathon champion, was the top American in the women’s open division, taking fourth place in 1:11:13. She was followed by 2018 Boston Marathon winner Des Linden in fifth place in 1:11:22.

(03/19/2019) Views: 1,435 ⚡AMP
United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon

The United Airlines NYC Half takes runners from around the city and the globe on a 13.1-mile tour of NYC. Led by a talent-packed roster of American and international elites, runners will stop traffic in the Big Apple this March! Runners will begin their journey on Prospect Park’s Center Drive before taking the race onto Brooklyn’s streets. For the third...


Texan Parker Stinson will run at Houston Half Marathon with a New Coach, Dathan Ritzenhein

Stinson and Ritzenhein have a relationship that stretches back a decade. They try not to worry about the fact that, should all go well, they’ll be racing each other for an Olympic berth next year.

Parker Stinson wants to make it clear: he wasn’t stalking Dathan Ritzenhein when they first met 10 years ago in Houston. Not exactly.

Stinson was a junior at Cedar Park High School outside of Austin, in town to catch a glimpse of the biggest pro running event in the state of Texas, the Houston Half Marathon. But more than anything, he was there to see Ritzenhein; multiple posters bearing his image hung in the Cedar Park locker room, including one from his bronze-medal performance in the junior race at the 2001 World Cross Country Championships (Ritz remains the last US junior, male or female, to medal in that race). Ritzenhein was 26 and fresh off his second Olympic appearance, where he finished 9th in the marathon in Beijing, and about to embark on a career year that would see him break Bob Kennedy‘s American record in the 5,000 meters and earn a bronze medal at the World Half Marathon Championships.

As Hudson and Ritzenhein were on their way to dinner, Sheard approached and introduced himself and Stinson. Stinson, a little starstruck at the time, doesn’t recall much about the interaction — “I just remember trying not to say anything weird” — but he knew one thing: Ritzenhein was now officially his favorite runner. That moment would mark the beginning of a crucial relationship in Stinson’s life, one that evolved from star-fanboy while he was in high school to mentor-mentee during his days at the University of Oregon, where Ritzenhein served as a volunteer coach in 2014.

Last fall, their relationship changed once again when Ritzenhein agreed to coach Stinson, who parted ways with his old coach, Hudson, after the Chicago Marathon. As fate would have it, Stinson’s first race under Ritzenhein comes Sunday at the Houston Half Marathon, a decade after their first meeting.

(01/19/2019) Views: 943 ⚡AMP

Ethiopia's Shura Kitata runs fastest half in US and Linden are winners at Rock ’N’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon

Fall marathon season is in full swing, and the elites have started their tune-up races in preparation. So far, it’s been successful: Reigning Boston Marathon champion Desiree Linden took first at the Rock ’N’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon this weekend. The women’s field was stacked, and included Linden, Sarah Sellers, who finished second at Boston, and Kellyn Taylor. In the race, Linden was neck and neck with Taylor, until Linden pulled away late. Linden topped the podium with a time of 1:11:49, while Taylor took second with a 1:12:07. Taylor captured the attention of the running world in June when she won the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota in 2:24:28, the seventh-fastest marathon time ever for an American woman. The men’s race was won by Ethiopia's Shura Kitata in a stunning 59:17.  This is the fastest half marathon run in the United States and the 6th best winning time in the world in the last 12 months.  Parker Stinson finished second, in 1:03:02, and Canada’s Cam Levins was third, in 1:03:10. Cam Levins also raced Philadelphia as a tune-up, in his case for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 21. Stinson will run Chicago on October 7. (09/17/2018) Views: 1,169 ⚡AMP

Parker Stinson was on 2:09 pace at the 22 mile mark in his first marathon and then hit the wall. He says he will be better prepared for Chicago.

Parker Stinson, a nine-time All-American, a three-time U.S. junior 10,000m champion and a junior Pan American Games 10,000m champion, made his marathon debut last year at the USATF Marathon Championships.

While the results tell one story about how the race ended, anyone who watched the race unfold saw something else. Stinson may have finished 31st in 2:18:07, but he hit mile 22 on a 2:09 pace; at that point, he was running inside of an arena where few Americans have ventured. But proving that elite athletes are mere mortals, he struggled with cramps and side stitches and had to stop several times over the final four miles.

After the race, he said, “I wasn’t on a suicide mission, but I expected to die a little bit out there. I felt good until I didn’t.” Stinson’s pure guts running style supplies an element of excitement to this year’s American field. Stinson holds a 1:02:38 PR in the half marathon (run in May at the USATF Half Marathon Championships where he lost by one second) and a 27:54 PR in the 10,000m.

(08/29/2018) Views: 1,412 ⚡AMP

USA 25K Open Championships has a strong field, $112,400 in prize money and fun for all

The Fifth Third River Bank Run 25K coming up May 12 in Grand Rapids, Michigan is also the USA 25K Open Championships with prize money of $112,400. Competing again will be two-time champion Aliphine Tuliamuk going after a third win. The 29-year-old from Santa Fe, New Mexico, dominated last year's race clocking 1:24:34. She finished 36 seconds ahead of Neely Gracey to take the $10,000 first prize for the women's event, along with another $2,500 for being the first to cross the finish line in the staggered start "race within the race" against the men.  Greg Meyer, the elite race coordinator, announced Tuesday, "Three notable names are missing on the men's side. Christo Landry, who won in 2016 and was second last year and in 2015, will miss the race due to an Achilles' injury. Likewise, Jared Ward, who won in 2015 and was second in 2016, is out with a hamstring injury. Also, defending champion Dathan Ritzenhein will not be back. He is recovering from an injury suffered just before he was to run the Boston Marathon early last month. Without them, the top returner is Parker Stinson, who finished third last year (1:15:03).  He's a nine-time All American at University of Oregon who most recently was sixth at the 12K U.S. Championships."   Other notable runners include:   Samuel Kosgei, former Kenyan and now U.S. citizen who ran a 2:13 marathon and was fifth at the U.S. Marathon Championships. Tyler McCandless, who finished second at the U.S. Marathon Championships in 2:12, and finished seventh in the 2014 River Bank Run.  Scott Fauble, "My dark horse in this race," Meyer said of the 26-year-old who ran a 2:12.35 in his marathon debut in Frankfurt, Germany last October. Sam Chelanga, Meyer called him "the man to beat" with a 60:37 best in the half marathon and holder of the NCAA 10,000-meter record (27:08). (05/01/2018) Views: 1,409 ⚡AMP
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